1868 in the United Kingdom
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|1868 English cricket season|
Events from the year 1868 in the United Kingdom.
- Monarch — Victoria
- Prime Minister —
- 2 January — British Expedition to Abyssinia: Robert Napier leads an expedition to free captive British officials and missionaries.
- 9 January — Penal transportation from Britain to Australia ends with arrival of the convict ship Hougoumont in Western Australia after an 89-day voyage from England.
- 13 February — The War Office sanctions the formation of what will become the Army Post Office Corps.
- 27 February — Benjamin Disraeli succeeds the Earl of Derby as Prime Minister following Derby's resignation due to ill-health.
- 12 March — Britain annexes Basutoland.
- 9–13 April — Expedition to Abyssinia: At the Battle of Magdala, Robert Napier decisively defeats the emperor Tewodros II.
- 10–11 May — "Murphy riots" against Irish people in Ashton-under-Lyne.
- 26 May — Last public hanging in Britain — Fenian bomber Michael Barrett outside Newgate Prison in London for his part in the Clerkenwell explosion of 1867.
- 29 May — Capital Punishment Amendment Act abolishes public hanging in Britain.
- 2 June — The first Trades Union Congress is held in Manchester.
- 29 June — The Press Association founded in London.
- July — The Summer assize for Berkshire is moved from Abingdon to Reading, effectively making the latter the county town.
- 17 July — Judicial decision of the House of Lords in Rylands v Fletcher, a leading case in English tort law, establishing a standard of strict liability in negligence actions.
- 13 August — First non-public hanging in Britain — Thomas Wells inside Maidstone Prison.
- 20 August — Abergele train disaster kills 32 passengers and a fireman.
- 20 October — Astronomer Norman Lockyer observes and names the D3 Fraunhofer line in the solar spectrum and concludes that it is caused by a hitherto unidentified chemical element which he later names helium.
- 12 November — Archibald Tait is offered the post of Archbishop of Canterbury.
- 15–24 November — General election, the first under the extended franchise of the Reform Act 1867: Liberal Party victorious.
- 24 November — The Smithfield Meat Market opens in London.
- 3 December — William Ewart Gladstone becomes Prime Minister.
- 10 December
- Cardwell Reforms abolish flogging in the peacetime British Army.
- Church rate ceases to be compulsory.
- Thomas Henry Huxley discovers what he thinks is a primordial matter and names it bathybius haecklii (he admits his mistake in 1871).
- Wilkie Collins' novel The Moonstone.
- Queen Victoria's diary Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands, from 1848 to 1861.
- 7 February — Aleen Cust, Irish veterinary surgeon (died 1937)
- 22 February — David Devant, stage magician (died 1941)
- 22 March — Alfred Fowler, astronomer (died 1940)
- 25 March — William Lockwood, cricketer (died 1932)
- 10 April — George Arliss, actor (died 1946)
- 28 April — Lucy Booth, Salvationist, fifth daughter of William and Catherine Booth (died 1953)
- 6 June — Robert Falcon Scott, explorer (died 1912)
- 7 June — Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scottish architect (died 1928)
- 6 July — Princess Victoria (died 1935)
- 14 July — Gertrude Bell, archaeologist, writer, spy and administrator (died 1926)
- 7 August — Granville Bantock, classical composer and conductor (died 1946)
- 10 February — David Brewster, scientist, inventor and writer (born 1781)
- 28 March — James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, military leader (born 1797)
- 2 May — James Wilson Carmichael, marine painter (born 1800)
- 7 May — Henry Peter Brougham, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain (born 1778)
- 29 July — John Elliotson, doctor and author (born 1791)
- 17 August — Duncan Forbes, linguist (born 1798)
- 24 September — Henry Hart Milman, historian and ecclesiastic (born 1791)
- 27 October — Charles Thomas Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury (born 1794)
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 289–290. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Moody, T. W.; et al., eds. (1989). A New History of Ireland. 8: A Chronology of Irish History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-821744-2.
- "Timeline of capital punishment in Britain". Retrieved 2011-02-02.
- "Berkshire Quarter Sessions". Jackson's Oxford Journal. 1868-07-04.
- Hampel, Clifford A. (1968). The Encyclopedia of the Chemical Elements. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. pp. 256–268. ISBN 0-442-15598-0.
- Ellens, J. P. (1987). "Lord John Russell and the Church Rate Conflict: the Struggle for a Broad Church, 1834–1868". The Journal of British Studies. 2: 232–257.